Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 10 Tuesday! I hope you’ve all had a great start to your week!

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 Authors I’d Love to Meet’.

I’ve decided to put my own spin on this week’s topic to include authors past and present as a lot of the authors that came to my mind are no longer with us.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Fredrik Backman

 

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you would have seen this one coming. I adore Frederick Backman’s books and would love the chance to meet him and hear all about the inspiration behind some of his eccentric characters.

 

  1. J. R.R Tolkien

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Tolkien is possibly my favourite storyteller of all time. No one can immerse their reader in a fictitious world quite like he does.

 

  1. Emily Bronte

As an English Literature graduate, it was hard not to make this list 100% classical authors. I’ve narrowed it down to a select few and obviously, Emily Bronte had to be on this list. I love all of the Bronte sisters writing but there is something so unique and inspiring about Emily’s work which makes her my favourite.

 

  1. Charles Dickens

I honestly don’t have a reason for including Dickens on this list other than its Dickens?!

 

  1. Suzanne Collins

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I would love to meet Suzanne Collins just to say thank you for writing the Hunger Games trilogy. These books shaped my teenage years and they are still amongst my favourite reads of all time.

 

  1. Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket

Daniel Handler is a brilliant author and exceptional storyteller. The diversity in his writing abilities is inspiring and I’d love to find out how he goes from a dark and quirky mystery like ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ to a teen romance story like ‘Why We Broke Up’.

 

  1. F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Just picture it, it’s the 1920’s, you’re in Paris in some sophisticated bar full of societies elite, you’re wearing an elegant dress with your hair pinned up and you’re sipping colorful cocktails whilst listening to some of the most outrageous anecdotes from Fitzgerald. Now doesn’t that sound like pure perfection?

 

  1. John Green

This is an obvious choice but I am a big John Green fan and I feel like we would have some interesting conversations.

  1. Cheryl Strayed

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I really enjoyed reading Wild and I would love to meet the inspiring Cheryl Strayed in person and hear more about her amazing journey.

 

  1. Sara Shepard

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I would love to know how Sara Shepard comes up with the twisted plot lines for her novels and also to get her opinion on the horror that was the PLL finale (and that tragic attempt at a British accent!).

 

Thanks for reading! Which authors would you love to meet? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Non-Fiction Books I Want to Read

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to another Top 10 Tuesday! It’s been a while since I’ve taken part as the past few weeks I’ve been doing Top 5 Tuesdays but I thought I’d switch it up a bit.

If you’re not familiar with Top 10 Tuesday, it’s hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and features a different book related topic each week. This week weeks topic is the ‘Top 10 books by my favourite authors that I still haven’t read’.

I don’t have that many favourite authors as I read so many different books and genres so some of these are just books by authors whose other books I have enjoyed.

If you’re also taking part in this weeks Top 10 Tuesday or if you’ve done a similar post in the past then please leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll check it out.

 

  1. Us Against You by Frederik Backman

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  1. Britt Marie Was Here by Frederick Backman

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  1. Every Day by David Leviathan

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  1. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathan

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  1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

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  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

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  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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  1. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

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Thanks for reading! If you’ve read any of these books or have any books by a favourite author that you’re yet to read then let me know in the comments below!

Blog Tour: The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe

Blog Tour: The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe

Hello, Lovelies,

I usually post my book reviews on a Sunday but as I’m (belatedly) taking part in the Blog Tour for The Stranger Upstairs by Melanie Raabe, you’re getting an extra review this week!

Unfortunately, I am a few days late with this post due to unforeseen work commitments so my stop on this Blog Tour was supposed to be on the 13TH September but better late than never!

I would like to thank Pan Macmillan, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“Several years ago, your husband, and the father of your young son, disappeared. Since then, you’ve dreamed of his return; railed against him for leaving you alone; grieved for your marriage; and, finally, vowed to move on.

One morning, the phone rings. When you answer, a voice at the other end tells you your husband’s on a plane bound for home, and that you’ll see him tomorrow.

You’ve imagined this reunion countless times. Of course you have. But nothing has prepared you for the reality. For you realize you don’t know this man.

Because he isn’t your husband, he’s a complete stranger – and he’s coming home with you.

Even worse, he seems to know about something very bad you once did, something no one else could possibly know about . . . Could they?”

 

My Thoughts:

If you are a big fan of thrillers with a twist, then this is definitely the book for you.

The Stranger Upstairs may sound like a standard thriller from the synopsis, but it will surprise you like it did to me. Raabe stays faithful to the expected structure of a gripping thriller throughout the majority of the book but towards the end, the story started to transition into more of a romance. I don’t want to give too much away as the big reveal is definitely one you don’t see coming but Raabe brings something unique to the genre in this dramatic story.

The pacing of this story was quite slow which may put some people off, but I think it worked in Raabe’s favour in this case. The story takes place over the space of a few days so you are getting every action and emotion that Sarah goes through in minute detail. We think we know what’s going on the whole way through the book as we are getting both Sarah and the Strangers side of the story the entire time which is why when the plot twist is revealed, the reader is left so shocked. The one thing that let this novel down for me was the writing. This may have been down to the translation as this sometimes means that you lose an aspect of how the story is told.

Thank you again to Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book and for Melanie Raabe for writing this interesting story. The Stranger Upstairs is out now and can be purchased here.

Thanks for reading! Do you like the sound of this book? Let me know in the comments below!

ARC Review: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill

ARC Review: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill

Hello, lovelies!

I hope you’re all having a relaxing Sunday! This week’s review is on Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill, a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which if you haven’t read, you definitely should!)

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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GoodReads Synopsis:

“Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr. Henry Jekyll. Only Mr. Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor – because Jekyll was Hyde.

But as the man goes about charming Jekyll’s friends and reclaiming the estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life … and questioning his own sanity.”

 

My Thoughts:

I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek and I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it after I finished it.

The story picks up from where Stevenson finish, following the aftermath of Mr. Hyde’s death and Dr. Jekyll’s not so mysterious disappearance. O’Neill carries on the story from the perspective of Utterson, Jekyll’s lawyer and close friend. However, the Utterson in this story is almost unrecognisable from the Utterson in Stevenson’s classic.

Having read some other reviews on this novel, I have noticed that the change in Utterson’s character has put people off this novel entirely but for me, this was one of the things that worked so well. O’Neill is carrying on the exploration into the duality of human nature. The Utterson we see in this story is the dark side of his character.

From the moment the ‘imposter’ arrives, Utterson becomes unhinged almost, distant from reality and vicious in his approach. His determination to unmask this imposter initially seems to be driven by the desire to protect his old friend’s legacy but as the story goes on, we start to see this is more about what Utterson stands to lose if the imposter gets away with it. He was set to inherit all of Jekyll’s estate, but the return of the imposter threatens this.

Utterson faces an internal battle. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to look greedy or suspicious to those around him but on the other hand, he has made plans for the Jekyll house and he believes he knows with certainty that Jekyll is dead. His inner struggle with his anger and rage lead to the outwards spiral of his sanity. As Jekyll did when he became Hyde, Utterson becomes unrecognisable, albeit in personality rather than in physical appearance.

Although O’Neill made his characters very different, he stayed true to the tone and setting of the story. From the first few pages, you are immediately immersed in Victorian London. O’Neill expertly continuous the gothic tone of the story which reads exceptionally well. His descriptions created vivid pictures in my mind and I found myself completely wrapped up in the story at times which I loved.

The one thing that let this book down for me was the ending. It was unnecessarily told from the perspective of a character we had barely taken an interest in and it felt rushed and messy. However, because this is quite a short book and was really easy to get into, I didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time. Overall, I would still recommend reading this if you’re a big fan of Jekyll & Hyde or Gothic literature as I did enjoy reading it and it really didn’t take too long to read (Also, just look at that cover!)

Thanks for reading! Have you read either of these books? If so, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

August Wrap Up

August Wrap Up

Hello lovelies!

I can’t believe its September already! August was a great book month for me, even if I failed to read most of the books on my TBR challenge. I read a total of 7 books which is less than I’d have liked but I have been seriously busy.

My August Reads:

 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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My Rating: ★★★★★

You can read my review of this amazing book here.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

You can read my review of this book here.

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

I decided not to review this book as the subject matter was quite serious and may be triggering to some readers. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this book, but it was exceptionally well written and extremely compelling which is why I have rated it so high.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek by Anthony O’Neill

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆

I will be posting my review of this interesting little read soon!

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆

I will also be posting my review of this best-selling thriller in a few weeks’ time.

I’ve decided not to set a TBR challenge for myself for September as I know I won’t stick to it. I already have a few books in mind that I want to read this month but I’m going to wait and see what I feel like reading after I finish each book. I also have a lot of ARCs to get through so hopefully, I will have a productive month!

Currently Reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman

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This book was on my TBR challenge for August and I’m finally getting around to actually reading it. I really hope it lives up to the hype!

Thanks for reading! Did you read any great books in August? What are you looking forward to reading in September? Let me know in the comments below!

T5T: Top 5 Books That Made Me Laugh

T5T: Top 5 Books That Made Me Laugh

Hello lovelies!

Welcome back to another Top 5 Tuesdays. You might have noticed that I’ve been switching between Top 5 Tuesdays and Top 10 Tuesdays for the past few weeks and this is because they both have some amazing topics and unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to do two posts every week on a Tuesday so I’ll have to stick with alternating!

If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Tuesday, it is a group here on WordPress now currently run by Shanah over at BionicBookWorm, where each week you are given a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category.

This week’s topic is the Top 5 Books That Made Me Laugh. If you are also participating in Top 5 Tuesdays this week or you have previously done a post on a really funny book then please leave your link in the comments and I will check out your post!

  1. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

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I would just like to point out that this list could easily have just been all of the books from this series as they all made me laugh like a loon on loon tablets. Georgia Nicholson and the rest of the Ace Gang are some of my favourite characters ever. I read these books over and over again when I was growing up and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick them up even now.

  1. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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I feel like the only justification I need for having The Rosie Project in this list is the lovable Don Tillman. The end.

  1. The Wrong Knickers by Bryony Gordon

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When I first read this book I had no idea that it was a memoir as I just picked it up off my mum’s bookshelf and started reading. It was a hilarious, witty and completely outrageous and led me to become a big fan of Bryony and a frequent listener to her podcast which I’d also recommend listening to (she interviews Prince Harry in one of them!)

  1. Boy Meets Boy by David Leviathan

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This book was a wild ride from start to finish. Everything from the characters to the plot was just so over the top and perfect. This book would also make a brilliant film *hint* Netflix *hint*.

  1. Starter for 10 by David Nicholls

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I vividly remember laughing so hard I cried at parts of this book and then again when I watched the film. It is hilarious, brilliant and completely daft. (For any non-brits who don’t know what I mean by daft, its sort of a lovable way of saying silly or ridiculous).

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favourite books that made you laugh? Let me know in the comments below!

ARC REVIEW: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

ARC REVIEW: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Hey, lovelies!

I would like to start by saying thanks to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review. Somehow my amazing luck with ARCs continuous as this is another positive review!

GoodReads Synopsis:

‘Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.’

 

My Thoughts:

I want to start by saying that thrillers are not one of my favourite genres of books however, I had been in a bit of a reading slump and a fast-paced thriller is the perfect cure for that and Jane Doe did not disappoint.

This is probably the only thriller that I have ever read that hasn’t left me feeling slightly disappointed. I always devour thrillers as I can’t wait to find out what happens in the end and then when I get there I almost feel deflated. However, the ending of Jane Doe was brilliant. It perfectly wrapped up the story and was that satisfying kind of ending that you never saw coming.

Another reason I don’t usually love thrillers is that the protagonist is always insufferable. They are usually female and suffering from alcohol addiction, mental health issues or with some dark secret from there past which makes them unstable and unreliable. Jane, on the other hand, was such an interesting character. She is a self-diagnosed sociopath incapable of understanding or feeling emotions in the way that others do which makes her such a multi-dimensional character. She also had all the power in this story. We learn quite early on in the book why Jane is set on ruining Steven’s life, but we don’t know how she will do it which is why I think this book works so well. We’re not trying to figure out the whodunnit, we are trying to figure out how far Jane is willing to go.

I also found myself laughing out loud at times when reading this book which is definitely not my usual response to reading a thriller. Stone’s writing is brilliant and extremely witty in parts. I read this book on my Kindle and I found myself highlighting so many quotes so I thought I would include some of them in this post just to give you a taste of Jane’s voice:

“Frankly, fictional people appeal far more to me than real people do. In fiction, the choices have to make sense. The timeline proceeds rationally.”

“Erections and guilt can’t exist in the same place”

“After all, everyone knows that women are responsible for how men behave. If we’re not careful, they might decide to take what they want. They can’t help it. But somehow I’m the one with the psychological impairment.”

“Their penises are God’s divining rods, searching out evil.”

The whole book is narrated from her perspective which works brilliantly. Stone invites us into the mind of a sociopath, but she is a sociopath that the reader ends up rooting for. I would even go as far as to say I liked Jane. Stone set’s Steven up as such a vile character that I almost wished I could join Jane in making his life hell but deeper than this was that Steven is a character that far too many women are very familiar with in real life.  This makes his demise all the more satisfying.

This book is available to buy now and I would definitely recommend this book if you’re into thrillers (or even if you’re not as it was such an interesting read). I really hope Stone considers making this into a series so we get to read more about Jane!

 

Thank you for reading! Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!